Czech President Petr Pavel says Russian citizens living abroad should be placed under « strict surveillance » by intelligence services in their host countries.
“All Russians living in Western countries should be monitored much more than in the past because they are citizens of a nation waging a war of aggression,” Pavel She said in an interview with Radio Free Europe released on Thursday.
« I can feel sorry for these people, but at the same time, when we look back, when World War II started, the whole Japanese population living in the United States was also under a strict monitoring regime, » the Czech president said. « This is simply a cost of war. »
When asked what he meant by « monitoring, » Pavel said he meant « being under the control of the security services. »
During World War II, approximately 120,000 people of Japanese ancestry, most of whom were American citizens, and half of them children – they were put by force in internment camps following the December 1941 attack on Pearl Harbor by Japanese forces. The camps were surrounded by barbed wire and guarded by American soldiers. Then-President Ronald Reagan formally he apologized on the fields in 1988.
US President Joe Biden She said February was « one of the most shameful times in American history. »
Russian citizens have fled their country by the hundreds of thousands since the Kremlin’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine began in February 2022, also to avoid being drafted into the Russian military. According to Statista, there were approx 6.6 million Russians live in Europe and North America in 2020.
The pro-Western Czech president, who was a strong supporter of Ukraine during Russia’s invasion, was a NATO general, a highly unusual background for a European leader.
He was elected in January after running as an independent, defeating former prime minister Andrej Babiš with 58% of the vote.
Pavel’s position is largely ceremonial but, as the Czech head of state, he can still exert influence over the direction of the country, as previous Czech leaders have in the past.